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Import inventory item codes when importing invoices

Started by Alistair Dent in Feature Requests | Done!

Does anyone know how to import item codes when importing invoices into xero from MYOB?
Currently you can't import a CSV of invoices that use inventory items - you need to have the inventory items in Xero already and edit each draft invoice imported to choose the inventory items. This is definitely on our to do list!

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)

Hi Alistair,

The only solution I have found to this is to export the invoices from MYOB to Excel, then separately export an item list including the "I sell this item" posting account. Use a Vlookup in your spreadsheet to create the posting code and effectively convert the item invoice to a service layout. It's a bit painful, and really only worth doing if there are a lot to do otherwise quicker to key them manually. We recently converted a client who wanted to bring in all trx from 1 Jul last year, and had hundreds of item invoices - it took ages but the outcome was good (happy client!). But I am looking forward to this being automated!

Cheers, Rhys

Rhys Roberts

Merged: Import Invoices Use Inventory Items

We just finished transferring to Square and I've made a spreadsheet that pulls the daily sales items out and into a nice format all with their item codes, quantity sold, desc, etc. My plan was to prep all this so I could paste the raw data, then save the indexed/formatted sheet to CSV then import into Xero. In just a few clicks I would have my daily retail sales in Xero. Then I read that inventory items are not used in importing invoices. Well that just created a lot of data entry time.

Please add the ability to input Inventory codes into the CSV, do a lookup on import and we'd be good to go. Save a lot of effort.

Andy Ciordia

@Andy Good effort on working with your Square data to get it into Xero - we really want that to be easier for you but as you'll see (on this thread) we're still working on getting a nice simple CSV format from Square or even a Square integration.

And yes, importing inventory items/codes with your invoice data into Xero is an improvement on our list. We also have on that list an update to make inventory items available on Spend and Receive Money (cash) transactions.

Thanks for the post.

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)

It would be useful if we could import invoices with inventory items.
I'm looking at manually going into each of my 100 imported invoices to add in inventory item.

Once Xero improves its import function (hopefully very soon), I may be able to cut my time spent on invoicing monthly down to a third.

I currently put bills in CSV then import them to Xero. That saves some loading time.

Angie Ngo

@Catherine thanks for putting this on the list. Is there any development? Can't justify the upgrade if this isn't here as otherwise items won't be in accounts and there's too much duplication entering data twice..

Steve Carrivick

Please give us an update on this, I've had to catch our company up 20 days due to a serious rush of volume that had me out of sorts on book-keeping. It's taking over a day to do what should only take an hour.

As an old systems engineer this is not rocket science, this is a lookup table cross reference upon import I can't see how this is so backburnered. It would improve a lot of peoples work flow.

Andy Ciordia

Just as a general comment on Xero development - this is not meant to be a slag off, just constructive criticism. However, such a simple request as this, I can't see why it can't be actioned. It would take a single developer less than a day to do this. Xero should concentrate on developing according to it's customers wants and needs, not prioritise what it thinks will be best - such as online invoicing, which it introduced without consultation. As a comparison, we use CCH iFirm in our practice - this week, CCH released update #18 for 2012. 18 updates so far this year! Xero has much more resources than CCH iFirm, but the way I see it, they are in danger of losing touch with the people who got them there - the customers. And if I had something on my to-do list for 8 months, I would be fired by now....

Alistair Dent

I would very much like to see this feature included in the upload to Xero.

I have created a database for my client that they wish to use to upload quoted invoices that include the item codes and descriptions. This would allow them faster invoicing from Xero.

Please have item codes included in the upload template. I am surprised that this is not an included feature!!

Rosemary Lang

Rosemary, be sure to add a Vote. Only real way I think we'll get some attention.

Andy Ciordia

@ Andy Thanks I have added a vote. Will try and get my client to add their votes here also.

Rosemary Lang

The power of every system is the ability to quickly get data in, and in the right format.

+1 to Inventory Item Imports.

Trevor Smith

This has been on the radar since March! I'm just about to start an annual invoicing cycle and guess what, I won't be able to use the Sales by Item report! Luckily they are not products with a cost of sale and I've reserved a sales account for each product so its not the end of the world. But echoing Alistair above (and I've said this elsewhere) a "Quick Wins" mini-release every month is a no-brainer when you've got so much pent-up demand for simple improvements.

Chris Dixon

Any idea when we might get this functionality? It would make life so much easier.

Brian Forsythe

@Brian - no timeframe on this.

Indeed we do have a team working on 'quick wins' where changes don't impact the whole of the application and require extensive re-testing and this team (our Sniper Team) determine what to work on next by customer feedback - whether that's by the number of votes on a thread like this one, comments left on our blog or direct requests through to our Customer Care team. So depending on the number of requests for something, the size of the change, the complexity of development and testing you can expect to see quick wins as well as new features in each release so please keep the requests and votes coming! Right now this thread has not received as much attention as others, either on the Community nor through other channels so we haven't scheduled this change yet.

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)

In essence Catherine has said no one makes enough noise about this, so it's not on the radar yet.

In that sense like many in life, the squeeky wheel gets the grease. In that case make sure those who have clients chime in, write support tickets, and please come vote on this thread. I almost want to make an amazon mechanical turk project to come vote for this, lol. :P

Andy Ciordia

This would make life a lot easier and help to get better reporting which can lead to better projections, budgets and forecasting. +1

Sara Young

This feature seems like a no brainer to me so hopefully now the votes are in the double digits it triggers a response. If not then I put a day aside next month to edit 250 draft invoices with an average of 8 line items... not looking forward to that.

Jared murdoch

We have 7000 invoices imported from 2012. We expect 50% -100% more in 2013. I would personally pay to have this feature added.


guy spriggs

Come on Xero. This can't be that big a job. You want people to use your product but without this feature it does make importing a waste of time!!

Rosemary Lang

You can import invoices and update items via the API. But you'll need a programmer.

guy spriggs

I can import the invoices OK to Xero but it's the missing item code that is not included in the import that is causing me the problem. I developed a database that will do the import for my client but like others in this discussion I would like to see item codes included in the upload import process they already offer.

Rosemary Lang

11 months & counting.... Come on Xero! Surely it isn't that difficult.

Alistair Dent

Please rectify, this is surely useful to more than 16 people in NZ!

Josh Soo (BDO)

I am also eagerly awaiting being able to import Items on Invoices

Rebecca Hull

I have tried importing the items on an invoice & then adding in the item name afterwards, however as the price imported can vary due to discounts etc and obviously the quantity is not always the same, as soon as you select the item, your quantity & amounts are overwritten. Is there a way around this anyone has found please?

Rebecca Hull

Rebecca: Nope. As soon as you link the item to a real item it reverts to its original state. No workaround AFAIK.

I'd love a programmer of Xero to chime in here, it's been a year and as a developer I can't understand how this is so deeply dysfunctionally coded that a fair and proper import is not plausible.

I know your API allows for it since OneSaaS handles invoice creation and mapping just fine. Why you can't get this done natively for an import from CSV blows my mind. If I calculated the amount of time wasted importing by hand my daily sheets from another system that I have mapped data from it would really be frightening.

It's been over a year now.

Andy Ciordia

If Xero is serious about being a platform of choice, it's this kind of functionality that is required to make integration with other systems and reporting work effectively!!

Gusto Elan

A must have - simple, please promote this requirement up the list. Will save much data entry and time.

John Cotter

I would just like to say that I'm pretty annoyed about this. What a waste of my time. It's cruel not to tell us before we do the import that items codes can not be imported. Really annoying that this weakness is not mentioned anywhere obvious. How can you offer a MYOB item import and not import the items? Just in case any one gets here before wasting time on a MYOB item import, Xero leaves the item field blank, even if you make sure that the item codes can be found in Xero. Because the items codes are blank, the invoices can not be posted, as there is no revenue account per line. You can of course assign an item manually to each order line, but this defeats the purpose.
Easier is to convert the MYOB item export CSV into a service invoice export. This isn't too hard (do a service invoice export from MYOB, copy the column headers under the column headers of the item import and work out where to copy the fields from the item export). Each detail line imports as a detail service line.

Tim Richardson

Xero please provide an update. Will importing item codes be available in the next release due imminently? If not is it scheduled for the release after that?

Actually it would be good to see the Road Map for the next 12 months of planned development.

John Cotter

I've got to say that I'm shocked it's taken this long. I have imported 670 invoices from MYOB into Xero as it is known as the best way, that is until the 670 invoices all are sales of inventory. I now have to spend quite a few hours, including having to take time from other staff members, all to be able to apply items/invetory to these invoices. Please Xero, the more we convert our clients over to Xero the more this will impact practice and could be the calling card between converting clients over today, later or never because of the difficulty. I see this as being a quick win.

Shelly Stephens

Having had to co-ordinate development projects in the past, I cannot say I am shocked.

However, I do think a Road Map would be a good idea because until a work module has been committed to a plan, it will remain in limbo ad-infinitude.


John Cotter

They'll never release a roadmap. Rarely do any developers. It technically ties their hands. Leaving you in limbo is a lot easier than making promises they can't keep.

Catherine hasn't been by in a while and we've never had a real Staffer give us a reality check. I'll keep coming by though since I strike this exact problem every week. I've thought about logging how many hours I really lose but it'd depress me more than impress Xero into action.

Andy Ciordia

Hi - I've just updated the status of this thread to "Started". May well change to "In Next Release" in a few days depending on progress - it's looking good. Thanks for your patience.

As an aside, we've moved to fixed release dates for Xero now, so the next release is scheduled for 17 June, and every three weeks from then. The idea is the release dates don't change and the content of each release is based on which features are ready to go at the time. Some releases will be small, others will have larger features, but we'll release something each time.

Andrew Tokeley (Xero Staff)

Thanks Andrew, that's great to know.

Is there anyway that members/Partners can see a schedule of the various statuses?

John Cotter

Hi @John - at the moment, the best you can do is to sort by status on the Feature Request list of Community. That will show you what's coming in the next 3 weeks (In Next Release) and what's Started. However, the Started items can be in that state for months if they are a complex piece of work. Since we don't know ourselves in which specific release a feature will end up being released, we can't lay out more of a schedule. There are lots of things that can impact when a feature is ready and I really don't want to set expectations we can't keep.

Andrew Tokeley (Xero Staff)

Thanks for that Andrew. I think that a road map providing details of where the system will be in a year's time and perhaps two years will show your commitment to how Xero are investing in the infrastructure. However, if you guys are not prepared to share your vision that is your prerogative.

It simply means all we have is hope rather than certainty and that cannot be the best way to leave customers, investors and partners.

John Cotter

Totally confused now. I'm trying to export from MYOB, but as it won't allow me to choose InventoryAccountCode (per your release note above) I'm not sure how this is helping? Per the previous comments, I take it I need to use the Xero Spreadsheet? Why have an 'Import MYOB Items Invoices' option in the program if it is never going to work?!? I'm not a programmer, but surely there is a way to have the program to recognise the Item Code with the income or expense code?

Please correct me if I am wrong. I really want to be wrong ha ha!

Christy Prosper

Christy can see see that you've got it all sorted. Good job :)

Brittany H (Community Manager)

I see its now 2016 and one is still getting an answer that it is on the "to do " list . Same answer as in 2012 - 4 years later.! Come on chaps - it simply CANNOT be a big job.

Steve Urwin

Hi Steve, this was marked as Complete a little while ago. To confirm, are you after the ability to import Inventory Codes when importing invoices into Xero?

Brittany H (Community Manager)

I think there is some confusion here.

I was referred to this stream by XERO support as an answer to my query about looking up stored values - eg PRICE - of an item when submitting line items via CSV.

I was so amazed that this basic feature was not in the product that i did not read the stream as carefuly as I should have and assumed it was relevant to my query - sinceI had been pointed here !

I want to be able to enter in the CSV file a Product identifier and use the stored Inventory record for that Product to provide the price etc from the already stored information. Why should one have to enter a price, or other information, which is already stored in the System. None of your competition seem to have a problem with this

I have raised a Feature Request for the specific functionalty

Steve Urwin

Sorry, Steve - can see there is indeed a bit of confusion there. Have sorted with Support :) I can't see your new Feature Request - was it under this email address?

Brittany H (Community Manager)